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Stakeholder dynamics in the EU forest energy sector: key issues to manage and ways forward

Author:
  • Charlotte Sluka
  • Philip Peck
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 51-71
Publication/Series: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
Volume: 9
Issue: 1
Document type: Journal article review
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Abstract english

EU forest biomass demand is increasing rapidly under policy stimuli, as biofuels are important for EU utilities to reach EU 2020 renewables goal. The import of large amounts will be required, but stakeholders have sustainability concerns. Utilities are adopting self-regulatory certification schemes to reduce stakeholder pressures but the interplay between these efforts, stakeholder and policy dynamics, and business risks is not well understood. This study uses literature, interviews, and a survey of 120 stakeholders to delineate influential actors in the discourse, principal concerns, and ways to ameliorate opposition and risk. The work finds many actors opposed to forest energy systems, and shows how critique is directed toward a nexus of industry and policymakers. It also indicates that critics have an ascendant status and can catalyze changes in policy and business practice in response to their concerns. Key concerns involve carbon, biodiversity, and deforestation; however, it is found that self-governance systems do not yet incorporate metrics to meet emerging expectations. The study concludes that efforts must deliver robust track records of strong ecological, climate, and social performance for forest energy supply chains to allay concerns - as distinct from just sustainability certification'. Work must include increased efforts to source woody biomass from the EU-27(+) to engender trust in forest energy actors, and scientific studies to delineate strong' versus weak' carbon and temporal carbon' performance for forest energy systems. This also suggests a need to delineate silvicultural regimes that facilitate the management of forest energy supply chains for improved carbon performance. (c) 2014 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Keywords

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
  • forest energy
  • biomass
  • stakeholders
  • sustainability
  • self-governance
  • certification
  • utilities
  • temporal carbon
  • EU RES

Other

Published
  • ISSN: 1932-1031


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